Simmy Richman

Simmy Richman is Associate Editor of The Independent on Sunday's New Review magazine. He is also a writer and CD reviews editor for The Independent on Sunday

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Shell shock: How to be more intimate with your dinner

Woody Allen once said: "Life doesn't imitate art, it imitates bad television." Well, sometimes life can imitate good television as well. The US comedy sketch show Portlandia may have had only a limited Netflix release in the UK, but one of its jokes has proved rather prescient.

Making pins for Nigel: A spiky issue for Farage's press office

Regular readers of this column might remember the story of the Michael Gove voodoo pincushion (9 February), which the Goves, gamely, bought each other for Christmas last year. Well, the woman behind that creation is at it again – only this time the subject of her crocheted ire is Nigel Farage.

Are there too many ways to date now?

Stop! In the name of love: Dating breakthrough for the tongue-tied

There is dating in the dark, speed dating, smell dating and play dating (find your true love over Lego, anyone?), but is there still room in our hearts for all these match-making ideas in the age of Tinder?

Panic! at the disco performing

God hates haters: Anti-gay protest nipped in the wallet

Last week this column reported on the Salem mayor, Kim Driscoll, who donated $5 to an LGBT support group every time her office received a hate call from a homophobe. And now it seems as if the idea is catching on, because the rock group Panic! at the Disco pledged to do the same thing when they heard there would be a protest outside the band's Kansas City show last week due to the group's singer, Brendon Urie, being bisexual.

Mayor Kim Driscoll

How to combat homophobic phone calls? Donate money to LBTG groups for every one you receive

That's what a Massachusetts mayor did after a run-in with a Christian college which decided it did not want to accept gay or lesbian students
Simon Laird (left) and Sister Simon Laird, featured in the BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets

Estates of the nation: Let's hear it for the man in the street

Joseph Bullman is on a mission. The man behind the multi-award-winning 2012 BBC series The Secret History of Our Streets claims to know what is wrong with factual programmes on television these days. "Documentaries have been taken over by celebrities," he says. "Some development executive somewhere will come up with an idea and think, 'I know, let's get one of the Top Gear team to present it.'"

Too pretty to be a bridesmaid for hire?

Maid in Manhattan: Much-too-attractive bridesmaid for hire

Everything changes, nothing changes. Where we once took obscure delight in scouring the classifieds in papers and magazines, now we have Craigslist, as revealing a glimpse into the American human mind as can be found outside the works of Freud.

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War with Isis: Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria's capital

War with Isis

Iraq declares victory in the battle for Tikrit - but militants make make ominous advances in neighbouring Syria
Scientists develop mechanical spring-loaded leg brace to improve walking

A spring in your step?

Scientists develop mechanical leg brace to help take a load off
Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock: How London shaped the director's art and obsessions

Peter Ackroyd on Alfred Hitchcock

Ackroyd has devoted his literary career to chronicling the capital and its characters. He tells John Walsh why he chose the master of suspense as his latest subject
Ryan Reynolds interview: The actor is branching out with Nazi art-theft drama Woman in Gold

Ryan Reynolds branches out in Woman in Gold

For every box-office smash in Ryan Reynolds' Hollywood career, there's always been a misconceived let-down. It's time for a rethink and a reboot, the actor tells James Mottram
Why Robin Williams safeguarded himself against a morbid trend in advertising

Stars safeguard against morbid advertising

As film-makers and advertisers make increasing posthumous use of celebrities' images, some stars are finding new ways of ensuring that they rest in peace
The UK horticulture industry is facing a skills crisis - but Great Dixter aims to change all that

UK horticulture industry facing skills crisis

Great Dixter manor house in East Sussex is encouraging people to work in the industry by offering three scholarships a year to students, as well as generous placements
Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head

Hack Circus: Technology, art and learning

Hack Circus aims to turn the rule-abiding approach of TED talks on its head. Rhodri Marsden meets mistress of ceremonies Leila Johnston
Sevenoaks is split over much-delayed decision on controversial grammar school annexe

Sevenoaks split over grammar school annexe

If Weald of Kent Grammar School is given the go-ahead for an annexe in leafy Sevenoaks, it will be the first selective state school to open in 50 years
10 best compact cameras

A look through the lens: 10 best compact cameras

If your smartphone won’t quite cut it, it’s time to invest in a new portable gadget
Paul Scholes column: Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now

Paul Scholes column

Ross Barkley played well against Italy but he must build on that. His time to step up and seize that England No 10 shirt is now
Why Michael Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Why Carrick is still proving an enigma for England

Manchester United's talented midfielder has played international football for almost 14 years yet, frustratingly, has won only 32 caps, says Sam Wallace
Tracey Neville: The netball coach who is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

Tracey Neville is just as busy as her brothers, Gary and Phil

The former player on how she is finding time to coach both Manchester Thunder in the Superleague and England in this year's World Cup
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?